Quotes of the day

posted at 9:31 pm on May 19, 2012 by Allahpundit

In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic.

In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia’s problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.

In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives…

“We all had high hopes for him,” said Filomena Cunha, an office worker in Lisbon, Portugal, who said she’s struggling to make ends meet. “But then things got bad and there’s not much he can do for us over here.”

***

In a swing through the Tampa area today, Mitt Romney blasted the Obama presidency as “a disappointment” and left town with about $2.3 million — part of an expected $10 million fundraising haul for a two-day Florida swing…

“This presidency has been a disappointment. And the people who have been hurt by this disappointment are the American people, and that’s why we’re going to get him out of office.”…

“By his own measure he’s failed,” Romney told the crowd, citing what he said were Obama’s promises on unemployment and the deficit during the 2008 campaign.

***

[I]f the election were tomorrow and I was forced to put money on one of the candidates, I’d say Romney. I also feel that unless something new and dramatic happens–as it usually does, admittedly — Romney’s advantage is more likely to grow than diminish…

Obama’s big problem, I think, is that he is no longer the president he said he would be. Above all, he’s stopped trying to be that president.

The astonishing enthusiasm for Obama in 2008 rested heavily on his promise to change Washington and unify the country. You can argue about whose fault it is that Washington is even more paralyzed by tribal fighting than before–in my view, it’s mostly (though not entirely) the GOP’s fault. For whatever reason, Obama failed to bring the change he promised. That would be forgivable, so long as he was determined to keep trying. But he isn’t determined to keep trying. His campaign message so far boils down to this: You just can’t work with these people. I tried, they’re not interested, so it’s war. If they want bitter partisan politics, they can have it…

To me it seems so obviously the wrong strategy, in fact, that I struggle to understand what Obama’s people can be thinking.

***

The Obama running for re-election is for everything and nothing at once, a creature of calculation. His oratorical skills are seen not as gifts that elevate him above the elite political class, but tools that enshrine him as its leader. Obama has become what he came to Washington to change: He is politics.

There is a good chance the Obama campaign is about to disintegrate, if only briefly. Obama is about to walk through “the valley of death,” where candidates lose their way and are tested on an arid march. In this familiar story, the campaign that could do no wrong can do no right: Pundits who have predicted an Obama victory reverse course and insist Romney is a sure bet…

Obama is asking America to be a polarized, angry country, where we are at war with each other, tearing at our own throats. Romney is asking us to be a country at peace with itself.

Unless Obama changes course, he will not make it through the valley. This is a race Romney wins.

***

The women I know who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, “The Life of Julia,” a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help…

The struggling women in my life all laughed when I asked them if contraception or abortion rights would be a major factor in their decision about this election. For them, and for most other women, the economy overwhelms everything else…

I have always admired President Obama and I agree with him on some issues, like abortion rights. But the promise of his campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills. To borrow a phrase from our president’s favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, they want “an open field and a fair chance.”

***

The increasing premium on skills and smarts promises to bring us an uglier society in the form of a meritocracy where those who are rich can think not only that they’re richer but that they’re better. That doesn’t simply threaten the incomes of the unskilled. It corrodes the traditional American idea of social equality — the idea that we’re “equal in the eyes of each other.” Cheering on young professionals — while urging the non-professionals to hurry up and do some learnin’ — doesn’t make the problem better. It makes the problem worse. Even if it increases GDP.

Weren’t Democrats supposed to be the party of Everyman? If you went to work and obeyed the rules, Dems would “make work pay” — plus give you unemployment compensation and Social Security and medical care in old age. White male workers are sort of the indivisible denominator in American politics — they have no special economic leverage, and no race- or gender-based claim to special privileges. They’re naked as far as favoritism goes, and thus (not unlike Marx’s proleteriat) are the representatives of universal privileges (such as Social Security). The new Obama coalition threatens to abandon this universality, becoming instead the party of non-universal skills, ethnic and gender identities — of special pleaders, victims and causists. Not of citizens.

***

Obama’s single achievement is something he scarcely intended and likely will lament for the rest of his days: the reinvigoration and reorientation of the right to first principles in the aftermath of the Bush presidency. Prior to Obama’s ascendance, the right was riven between big-government conservatives, libertarians, social conservatives, interventionists, activists, and intellectuals. The right was more interested in its divisions than its commonalities. Years of power had made us sloppy and complacent and sometimes corrupt.

Obama illustrated, boldly and shockingly, the power and drive of a resurgent progressivism. His grandiose designs forced conservatives into rethinking their attitude toward public policy in light of American exceptionalism and the American Founding. Suddenly finding themselves unwilling passengers on Obama’s progress train, conservatives remembered those they had left behind: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Adams, and Lincoln. Only in reversing course, in returning to the supposedly outmoded and old-fashioned ideas of natural rights and constitutionalism, would conservatives begin to prepare the ground for a renewed America. That is why Obama’s grade is a D Plus rather than outright failure. Who says conservatives don’t believe in grade inflation?

Barack Obama, future historians will remember, gave new life to something thought dead. Maybe he is a miracle worker after all.

***

A young man recounts how inspired he was by Barack Obama’s “promise to change Washington’s corrupt culture.” A woman recalls how she voted for Mr. Obama “because he spoke so beautifully.”

Fans of the president? Hardly.

Both people star in television spots attacking Mr. Obama, and both help answer a question that has vexed conservatives for months: how to go after a president whose personal popularity remains unusually resilient, even amid lukewarm ratings of his job performance.

The answer: Acknowledge the potency of Mr. Obama’s 2008 appeal. Then steep the ads in disappointment and lost promise.

***

“I just think he should, instead of making people victims of people who are successful, we should be telling people, ‘Look, you are having a hard time, I feel bad for you. Let’s look at what you’re doing, let’s teach you how to succeed. Let’s give you the tools to succeed.’ As opposed to turning everybody into victims, a victim mentality is what he’s selling and nobody with a victim mentality will get anywhere. Ever. They will never succeed,” Lovitz said.



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annoyinglittletwerp on May 20, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Congrats to you and your son, Twerp. You got some beautiful weather, too. Did you see all the signs along the roadsides welcoming you back to Illinois?

I wanted to know if you saw Nanzy Pelosi dissing the Cubs. Here.

Fallon on May 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

If you think that our Lib and Moby problem bad now, wait until this summer, as the campaign heats up.

And by the way, Moby is not a term for Reagan Conservatives. This site was founded by a Reagan Conservative, who also happens to be a believer.

kingsjester on May 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

in my experience. Most conservative students are dismayed about what they learn about American history and some of the mythology of the past that circulates in conservative circles. I’ll never forget the moment we discussed lynching postcards in class and one of my brightest conservative students honestly said “I never expected this kind of terrorist violence was mainstream in America at any point.” He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal.

libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Circulation of lynching postcards. Quintessential American history.

You people make me vomit.

tom daschle concerned on May 20, 2012 at 9:16 AM

tom daschle concerned, Its a Liar.

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

tom daschle concerned, Its a Liar.

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Rollins Band!

Thanks for the laugh B!

tom daschle concerned on May 20, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Isn’t the there a lemon law about such things?????????…….

angrymike on May 20, 2012 at 9:22 AM

; )

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal.
libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

No, the goal has nothing to do with honesty because it is quintessentially dishonest.

The real goal has always been to undermine the moral and intellectual basis upon which Western Civization is based and replace it with a more Humanistic basis, one untethered from reason and an objective search for truth.

Cleombrotus on May 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM

He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal. libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Its a shame none of you brilliant liberals told him blacks were lynched for voting Republican and not because they were black. Just like the whites who were also lynched.

Spliff Menendez on May 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Lourdes on May 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM

in my experience. Most conservative students are dismayed about what they learn about American history and some of the mythology of the past that circulates in conservative circles. I’ll never forget the moment we discussed lynching postcards in class and one of my brightest conservative students honestly said “I never expected this kind of terrorist violence was mainstream in America at any point.” He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal.

libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

You are exceptionally indoctrinated.

You are also extremely prejudiced about “Conservatives” and apply your many prejudicial views to them, such as you’ve abundantly evidenced in those comments quoted above.

Conservatives are not “dismayed” at what you assume prejudicially they are; they’re usually shocked to find so much leftwing ideology masquerading as academics.

Like I wrote earlier, the Left indoctrinates, they don’t teach. Their lectures and material is ideoloogy, it isn’t subject matter otherwise.

And your referenece to “lynchings” does not go unnoticed there. Once again, you along with your peer, “uppereastside,” assert THE ACTUAL RACE CARD in your efforts to agitate the comments with regurgitated Leftwing errata.

P.S.: the Republican Party was founded in Texas by Blacks.

Lourdes on May 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal.
libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

No, the goal has nothing to do with honesty because it is quintessentially dishonest.

The real goal has always been to undermine the moral and intellectual basis upon which Western Civization is based and replace it with a more Humanistic basis, one untethered from reason and an objective search for truth.

Cleombrotus on May 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Well said, Cleombrotus.

And to “libfreeordie”: I don’ t mean this sarcastically or pejoratively, I feel extremely sorry for you. You express such craven, depraved allegations and appear quite upbeat about it. I feel extremely sorry for you, because you appear to have fallen into some sort of mind-numbed state that now accepts all the wrongs as rights. I feel extremely sorry for you.

Lourdes on May 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM

He didn’t become a liberal, but he had a much more honest understanding of American history at the end of the semester. Which is the goal. libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Its a shame none of you brilliant liberals told him blacks were lynched for voting Republican and not because they were black. Just like the whites who were also lynched.

Spliff Menendez on May 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Spliff is right about that.

That reality, that truth, that history, isn’t taught by Progressives in public education. They avoid including the reality of just what occured and why and focus, instead, on indoctrinating gullible minds on Leftwing ideology — that is prejudicial about history and avoids including anything that would fully inform participants. Too much truth just might allow those gullible minds to form their own conclusions, can’t have that, it might not work out too well for the Progressives, the Leftwing, who need to keep the full truth of history suppressed.

Whites were, indeed, harmed, harassed and destroyed along with Blacks for the political reason of them voting and registering as Republican, and especially when any of them owned or “worked” land (property owners had greater sway in legislative matters).

Lourdes on May 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

libfreeordie on May 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Spliff Menendez on May 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

However, Spliff, what “libfreeordie” is after — same with his/her peer “uppereastside” and a few other Leftwingers — what they’re after is racial arguments.

They’re using threads to assert issues of race and accuse others of doing so while they, themselves are doing so, for purposes of then finding those “race” or “racial” remarks that they are sure we’re here making (while it is them who make such, it’s a form of baiting).

If and as anyone responds, they get what they wanted, which is “remarks about race by (us)”.

Lourdes on May 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I like Jon Lovitz for having the guts in Hollywood to speak up, but he’s wrong about one thing — Michelle & Barack made it all the way to the WH with a victim mentality.

Dark Star on May 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The Peter Principle evidently contains no exemption for Victims, Inc., Affirmative Action Division.

Barnestormer on May 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Hilarity of the Day:

“We all had high hopes for him,” said Filomena Cunha, an office worker in Lisbon, Portugal, who said she’s struggling to make ends meet. “But then things got bad and there’s not much he can do for us over here.”

Nor here, babe.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

@libfreeordie:
“I’ll never forget the moment we discussed lynching postcards in class and one of my brightest conservative students honestly said “I never expected this kind of terrorist violence was mainstream in America at any point.””

Such violence wasn’t “mainstream”- it was the actions of the Democrats, who have been outside the mainstream of America for coming up on two centuries now. Sure they’ve gained power from time to time, but that was by virtue of deceitfully hiding their true aims and beliefs. Your little anecdote would be a prime example of just a small bit of the noxious non-truth liberals attempt to inject into public discourse on a daily basis.

Further- why would a conservative student be dismayed about this bit of history, outside of the fact it very graphically demonstrated the racist and murdering past of the Democrat party?

You did as a teacher indicate that the lynchings, hangings, and intimidation was carried out by the Democrats, didn’t you?

If not, then you are no teacher but instead a chattering propagandist. Oh wait- your screen nick would indicate you’re a liberal, which means you inherently lie and propagandize. It’s what liberals do- they lie about history, lie about the present, and attempt to lie about the future.

Think the spelling should be changed to “lie-berals” in the interest of truth (I know, you’re allergic to that concept) in advertising.

Teacher FAIL. Go stand in line for your government handouts please.

GrassMudHorsey on May 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

“We all had high hopes for him,” said Filomena Cunha, an office worker in Lisbon, Portugal, who said she’s struggling to make ends meet. “But then things got bad and there’s not much he can do for us over here.”

Nor here, babe.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Ms Cunha proves what I have been telling Americans about Europeans since I came to this country. Europeans do not hate Americans because they are rubes, rednecks, unsophisticated, cowboy-ish, ignorant, anti-intellectual, or any of the other crap the American Left claims is responsible for anti-Americanism. No, not at all. Europeans hate Americans for the same reasons that anti-Semitism is so prevalent in Europe. Americans remind Europeans of their own sins and guilt. Europeans are jealous and envious of Americans. They know that they are lazier, less entrepreneurial, more dependent, savage (two world wars in the last century, the Holocaust, communism, Fascism, Naziism), and would not be where they are today but for the fact that the United States bailed them out…not once, not twice, but three times (World War I, World War II, and the Marshall Plan).

America is the favoured whipping boy, but Europeans know that the only thing standing between their freedom and impoverished tyranny is the United States (their militaries lacked even sufficient numbers of missiles to take out Qadaffi– they ran out in days). This is a humiliating fact of life for them. It has been the provision of defence by Americans that has allowed the Socialist gravy train in Europe to carry on as long as it has. I think that they are waking up finding themselves shocked that there may not be their reliable ally standing there with its chequebook.

Ms Cunha and her friends, I would be willing to bet, harboured the belief that Barack Obama would bailout the PIIGS. He was “one of them.” He wasn’t an American. He was a COW (citizen of the world). He agreed that America had been an arrogant country and it should spread the wealth around. He apologised repeatedly for the US. They honestly believed — just as Peggy Joseph believed that a vote for Barack Obama would forever remove from her daily concerns the payment of her mortgage and the refueling of her car — that having Barack Obama as leader of the free world would solve their problem of an insufficient number of taxpayers to support the unsustainable welfare state politicians have promised and to which the people have become accustomed.

Ironically, when the euro hits the fan — and it will — President Barack Obama will be added to the list of causes of anti-Americanism. I don’t like the guy, but it will be unfair of the Europeans; yet, this is exactly how they roll. If anyone doubts it, take a look at Greece and see who they blame for their own indulgences: “Führer Merkel and her German Nazis.”

Resist We Much on May 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

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